Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Drowning Sorrows In Bedok Reservoir


Chinese national Lin Xiao, 23, had been missing since April 28.
On the day he went missing, mother and son left for work together that Thursday morning.

When 43-year old Madam Hu Ping Zhu, a hawker, returned home from work in the afternoon, her son's mobile phone was on the table.
She discovered he did not report to work as an apprentice at Kaki Bukit.that day, after reading an SMS from his colleague.
His divorced parents had paid $6,350 agent fee to get him a job here.
The university graduate arrived in Singapore last year in November, to live with his mother.
She married a Singaporean more than two years ago.

A quiet person with no other relatives and no friends in Singapore, Hu was worried that her son could have run away due to work stress.
He had once asked if the agent fee could be earned back.
Although the mother had never asked his son for repayment, she felt he could have been pressured to earn the money back.
For the sake of her son's safety, the mother was willing to let him return to China if he reappeared.

Described as diligent by a colleague, Lin found it tough being in Singapore.
His mother spent sleepless nights not only roaming the streets near their home, but forested areas in Kaki Bukit near his workplace too, searching for her only son.
She printed and distributed 30 fliers.
She also searched temples and churches, with hope that he had gone to the temples for the free meals that these places provide.
She searched relentlessly for almost two months for her missing son.

Lin's parents offered $10,000 to anyone for information leading to the son's whereabouts.
48-year old Mr Lin Zuliang, a plant nursery owner in Zhejiang, flew to Singapore from China on May 13 scouring the island for his missing son
In February, the son had reportedly sent an SMS to his father in China, stating that he (Lin) was useless, could not fit into society, could not speak well, did not have enough strength, and not smart enough.
The father did not think much of it.
Instead, he advised him to work harder.

The mother's hopes of her son's safe return was dashed on Monday, June 20, after 20 days of frantic search.
Her worst fears was realised.
The police had gone to her flat after a PUB officer made a report about the highly decomposed body found floating in the reservoir, 2 km away from their residence in Chai Chee.
The mother had earlier filed a police report after her son went missing on April 28.

A bunch of keys was found on the partial body discovered in Bedok Reservoir.
Police officers found the keys fit for the door.
Even before the police has the DNA test results, the depressed mother recognised her son's black Puma belt and the faded jeans she had last seen him wearing.
Undertaker Roland Tay handled the cremation for free.
He used a bamboo board to complete the body.

******      ******      ******

After two years of courtship, Tan Sze Sze and Willy Chin registered their marriage in 2006.
Not long after the registration, she found a condom in her husband's car.
He claimed it belonged to his friend.

While renting a flat in Ang Mo Kio, Tan became pregnant.
They returned to their respective parents' homes before their baby was born.

The 31-year old ex-secretary started suffering from post-natal depression after giving birth to her baby, but refused to seek help
She then became temperamental..
She was increasingly short-tempered and irritable over the past year.

An introvert and easily depressed by nature, she was extremely protective of her son, whom she called "Baby".
Her relationship with her husband soured about two years ago.
She initiated the divorce proceedings.
She told her mother that life had become too much of a torture.

She was fiercely protective of her 3-year-old Jerald Chin Le Hui.
She spent most of her time looking after him.
She had frequent fights with her estranged husband over their son.
She became increasingly upset after being embroiled in a bitter child custody battle with her estranged husband.

Last year, Madam Tan had once allowed her ex-husband to take their son home.
But the then 2-year old came back with a nose that did not stop bleeding for two days.
He cried constantly.
From then on, the mother refused to let her son go with his father.
The boy was only allowed to see his father in the vicinity of their home with her, or his grandmother's presence.
53-year old Tan Geok Lai, claimed her ex-son-in-law would kick up a fuss at their home.
She admitted to yelling at him to go away. 
The elderly mother use vulgar language to tell him off. 
Once, he called the police when his mother-in-law use a shoe to hit him.

Things turned ugly when he threatened them with a lawsuit.
He had to call in the police and applied for a court order for access to the boy on weekends.

Once, when policemen came knocking at their flat in French Road, the mother grabbed her son and crouched in a corner, repeatedly saying that she was afraid.
They told her that if she did not comply with the court order, she would be fined.
She might have to go to jail, or punishment would be heavier the next time, if she could not pay the fine.

Tan had been fined earlier, for not allowing her husband access to their son.
She was worried that she would be jailed if she could not pay up.
She lived with her part-time fortune-teller mother, and four other family members in a one-room rental flat in Lavender area.
Unemployed, she lived on her mother's Central Provident Fund savings, as well as $300 monthly allowance from her husband.

The father would come to the flat every week for more than a year, pleading to see his son.
Often, the door would stay shut.
Or Tan would be chasing away her husband with a slipper and swearing at him.
The father had been seen waiting or squatting by the door and called out his son outside the flat, with a bag of diapers for him.

Tan was afraid that her son would be snatched from her.
Her son was her life.
Just before she went missing on Tuesday, September 20, Tan told her mother that she planned to kill herself and take her child with her.

Tan Sze Sze, 32, with her three-year-old son, Jerald Chin. The two were found drowned to death in a Singapore reservoir last week. On Friday, relatives of the dead woman disrupted her wake by attacking her estranged husband.  (Straits Times Photo/Lau Fook Kong)
On Thursday, September 22, Tan was found floating face down in Bedok Reservoir, with her son.
When PUB officers found them, Madam Tan was hugging her son.
The pair were pronounced dead about 10 minutes later.

They were joined by red string at their wrists and wore red T-shirts.
Both mother and son's fingernails were painted red.

They were were last seen in Clementi Central on Tuesday morning.
The elder mother was at work in Clementi Central when her daughter arrived with Jerald.
She cried inconsolably, saying she was a disappointment.
She was unable to protect her son.
After they left, Tan switched off her mobile phone.
When the family could not reach her, they called the police, who then released a missing persons statement to the media at about 7pm on Wednesday.

Family members found Tan's house keys in the mailbox.
There was also a box with photo album in it, and the namecard of undertaker Roland Tay, who handled her father's funeral three years ago.
A suicide note was attached and instructions on what to do after her death.

The stress of her broken marriage, and fear of losing the custody battle for their son, pushed her over the edge.

******

Mr Willy Chin arrived at the wake early Sunday morning at 6.50am to pay his last respects to his wife of five years, and his son, for a short five minutes.
He was to avoid meeting the family.

He was earlier deprived by his wife's relatives from attending the funeral wake.
He had secretly gone to the wake seeing his deceased family on Friday night, but was angrily accosted by relatives of his wife.
They crowded around his van, tried to drag him, hurled vulgarities and accused him of causing double deaths.

He managed to escape, but was subsequently confronted at his house by Madam Tan's mother, sister and her husband and two other relatives.
The police were later called to the scene.
The sister's husband was arrested when he refused to leave.
On Saturday, Chin went to Roland Tay's office, crying and begging the undertaker to speak to his wife's family.


In life, Chin wanted to give his son the toys he had painstakingly collected - more than 50 of the Happy Meal toys, which only come out once a week.
That's more than a year's worth of toys.

In death, the colourful toys were his last present to his only child, Jerald Chin Le Hui.
He arrived at the wake with three shopping bags full of toys and clothes for his son.
But again, Mr Chin never got his wish.
The toys did not follow his son to the other world as he had wished.

His last gifts to his son were later stuffed in black trash bags and left at the rubbish collection area.
It was unceremoniously thrown away by Jerald's 8-year-old cousin and his maternal grandmother.
Madam Tan's grieving family members believe Chin's act was only a show.
They will never forgive hm.

Although this is the second incident of bodies found in Bedok Reservoir, it is the ninth case of dead bodies found floating in waterways and reservoirs in Singapore this year.

cont'd...

4 comments:

mamasita said...

Bedok Reservoir must be haunted by now with people using it as a place to committ suicide kan..how sad..very depressing alright..:((

Wan Sharif said...

Tak ngeri ke minum air paip di Singapura?

Ummie said...

Mamasita,
'Sighting' used to be common in Bedok, not only at the reservoir. Somewhere around Bedok, the Japanese used the place to end many innocent lives.

Still water, not covered, bound to be resided by 'others'.

******

Wan Sharif,
It is safe to drink water direct (no boiling) from the tap here.
Singapore's water technology is eyed by others too.

Read: http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/environment/2011-03-03-1Apurewater03_CV_N.htm

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